- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old man pleaded no contest Tuesday to deliberate homicide charges after prosecutors said he stabbed two sisters to death in a Billings apartment in 2012.

Andrew Denning entered his plea after telling authorities that he did not know why he killed Rose and Daisy Edwards, court documents state.

As part of the plea agreement, a weapons charge that could have increased the penalty was withdrawn.

The state is recommending a sentence of 100 years in prison, the Billings Gazette (https://tinyurl.com/l5b6mq7 ) reported. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

An autopsy concluded that Rose Edwards likely died of a stab wound to the neck. She had also been choked. Daisy Edwards suffered a stab wound to the heart, and she had stab wounds all over her body.

Police found the sisters dead on Jan. 29, 2012, and quickly arrested Denning.

“‘Book me now … honestly book me now … that’s all I can say,’” police said he told them after his arrest, according to court documents.

When a detective asked why he killed the sisters, Denning replied, “‘I don’t have an honest answer … why I hurt either one of those girls,’” the documents state.

Denning said he took a drug to treat brain disorders before he got to the apartment of the sisters. In court documents, he said he doesn’t remember what happened, but based on his observations, he concluded he was responsible for the killings and took steps to conceal the crime.

Police say he killed the women when they refused to pay him for prescription drugs.

The case was set to go to trial on June 9. Defense attorneys had filed a notice to argue that Denning was “unable to appreciate the criminality” of his actions because of mental health problems. The lawyers couldn’t be reached for further comment.

Two mental health professionals were listed as witnesses for the defense.

In January, prosecutors had Denning taken to Missoula for a mental health evaluation. The results have not been made public.

___

Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com


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